Reports are coming in of an explosion in Manhattan at 23rd Street and 6th Avenue. Is this an Islamic State inspired attack in New York City?
As if now it is unclear but the NYPD’s counterterrorism squad is on the scene. A source to the New York Daily News reports that “the NYPD was questioning a possible suspect picked up about eight blocks away from the blast.”
A since suspended Twitter account associated with an ISIS sympathizer shows smiley faces next to a picture of the explosion site. The tweet was directed at multiple online “ISIS hunters,” or Twitter users who seek out the social media accounts of Islamic State sympathizers and get them shut down.
Another Twitter account, from an alleged Saudi, asks for more explosions like this in Chelsea.
The explosion has been described as “outdoor” by the FDNY. One apparent witness, Camelia Entekhabifard, said that the blast was caused by a “bomb in a trash can.”
New York City Alerts Twitter account referred to the explosion as an “IED Explosion.” An IED is an “an improvised explosive device.”
ABC News put the number of those injured at 25, but no fatalities. The number was later expanded to 29 people with one person suffering serious injuries. The FDNY says that 24 of the 29 people were taken to area hospitals.
The New York City Alerts Twitter page said that a second device was found at 135 West 27th street at around 10:30 p.m., two hours after the original explosion. That find was also reported by ABC New York’s Sandra Bookman who was quoting New York Police Department Special Operations sources. Fox News reports that the second device is a pressure cooker. Those were the type of IEDs used in the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing.
Around this time last year, ISIS made threats against New York City in a video that showed a suicide bomber attacking Times Square. At the release of the video, NYPD spokesman J. Peter Donald said in a statement:
We are aware of the newly-released ISIS video that mentions Times Square. While some of the video footage is not new, the video reaffirms the message that New York City remains a top terrorist target. While there is no current or specific threat to the City at this time, we will remain at a heightened state of vigilance and will continue to work with the FBI, the Joint Terrorism Task Force and the entire intelligence community to keep the City of New York safe
Earlier today, a trashcan bomb exploded in Seaside Park, New Jersey, according to the Associated Press. Nobody was hurt during that incident which took place just prior to a charity 5k for Marines and sailors. CNN reports that there was no damage to the area. The network adds that two bombs were found in the area but that only one detonated.
In a press conference in the aftermath, New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio said, “This was an intentional act.” The mayor added, “There is no specific and credible threat against New York City at this point in time from any terror organization.”
Anybody with any information about the explosion is asked to call 1800-577-TIPS.
UPDATE 9/18/16 @ 11:09 a.m.: ISIS has since claimed a mass stabbing in St. Cloud, Minnesota that occurred around the same time as the Chelsea bombing. Read the official terrorist statement here.
A new video purportedly released by the Islamic State titled "The Making of Illusion" comes out on the first day of the Muslim holy time of Eid al-Adha, and shows men being slaughtered like lambs.Click here to read more